Tuwar daal, sometimes known as toor daal or tuvar daal, is a split yellow lentil. In Gujarati cooking these lentils make one of the easiest, tastiest vegetarian mains, which also happens to be nourishing too. Vegetarian, and vegan, these lentils are warming, filling and gently spiced – substantial enough as a main course or to accompany other dishes.
Here you use ‘oily’ toor daal, it’s treated with vegetable oil to extend shelf life, and also so it cooks quicker with no soaking required. Most supermarkets with a specialist ndian section stock it, if not try your local Indian grocers.
Preparation is simple. First you simmer the lentils in water, adding ginger and tomato towards then end, and then the dish is finished with a blast of fried whole spices (called a vaghaar), stirred in whilst sizzling to provide fragrance, heat and texture.
Serve piping hot with rotli (chapatis) and Indian pickle.
Tuwar Daal – yellow split lentil curry
1 cup of toor daal
4 cups of cold water
1 fresh tomato, roughly chopped
2cm chunk of ginger, grated finely
1/4 teaspoon of salt
for the vaghaar
1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
4 curry leaves, fresh or dried
1/4 tsp of chilli flakes
pinch of hing/asafoedita
Put the daal in a large saucepan, and then wash in a few changes of warm water. Add the cold water into the saucepan and bring to the boil, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 40 minutes. Add in the tomato, ginger and salt and cook half covered for 15mins or until the lentils are soft. Remove from the heat, and keep the lid on, you’ll need to place it back again quickly when you do the vaghaar.
For the vaghaar, heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan, when hot add in the all the spices. When the mustard seeds start to pop, quickly add it to the lentils and put the lid back on. It will sizzle so keep a safe distance, and maybe open a window afterward!
Leave for a minute or so, then uncover, stir and serve.